Taking the next step on your growth journey

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Many of our clients run established, successful business but, just like any ambitious owner manager, they don’t want to settle for ‘good enough’.

Are they missing out on new markets for their products or services? Should they be expanding their offering or focusing on one key area? And, often hardest of all to face, is the leadership team that has got the business this far ready for the next chapter?

These are tough calls at the best of times but add in the need to deal with the day-to-day issues involved in running a firm and it’s all too easy to put them on the back burner. Days become months and ways of doing things can become habits. To address this problem we’ve developed a new, fast-track way of helping businesses. An opportunity to step away for just one day, get expert insight, useful metrics and, perhaps most valuable of all, an external view of the business that you live and breathe 24/7.

Ready, Steady, Grow

We call it our Value Lab and it involves you and key members of your leadership team spending a day with us at our Bristol office in Queen Square. We’ll have analysed your figures in advance so we can engage with you on the day in carefully structured discussions on key issues. Our interactive workshop covers 12 aspects of your business, from costs and assets to non-balance sheet items like brand and scalability.

We weight each of these 12 factors according to their importance to your individual business and give each a score based on a sliding scale from great to poor. Each score is debated in the room before being finalised. After compiling your scores across the 12 factors we allow time to discuss outliers then follow up with a written report 24 hours after your visit, giving you time to reflect further on the results.

During the day we’ll also share carefully chosen examples of how other business have dealt with similar issues and share insight into wider industry trends. Key to growing your business is thinking like an investor, so when we discuss your strengths and areas for improvement we place them in the context of how they influence value. At the workshop, we can give you a guideline valuation of your business based on EBITDA and current industry multiples. This will give you an idea of how you stand and, even if you are not currently considering exiting your business, it’s a great way of seeing where the real value sits in your company. For more information about how to exit your business successfully and profitably, see our blog Getting the exit you deserve.

Next steps on the growth journey

With a clear view of the issues and opportunities your business faces, plus a much better idea of the actions you need to take, we hope you’ll have made a significant step. Not bad in just one day, with lunch included!

But seriously, in many ways the hard work has only just begun. Here, we’d like to think you will feel able to call upon our help and advice as you draw up your plan of action and put it into practice. At Shaw & Co our clients are owner managers because we like working with individuals who have built and led companies. So, as well as offering the products and services you might expect from an established team like ours, such as sourcing finance and supporting strategy, we can help at a personal level with the coaching and contacts you may benefit from as you gear up for growth. And if there’s anything we can’t help you with we will almost certainly know some who can.

Going from working in your business to working on it

So, how have our clients benefitted from their Value Lab? Examples include a business which wanted to grow yet was struggling to fulfil current orders, indicating an urgent need to invest in additional capacity. Here we were able to use our knowledge of current opportunities in debt markets to support them finding the right finance, while our Grow team helped to make sure the strategy and human resources were in place to realise the investment. In other cases, owner managers have been surprised to find that perceived strengths like their brand were in need of attention, while areas considered safe contained hidden risks that could hold back growth if not addressed.

But don’t just take out word for it. The impact of our Value Labs has been recognised by Business West, a publicly funded organisation which offers support to growing businesses in the West of England. This means that you can get up to 40% of the cost covered by them.

Whether you are itching to grow or feel stuck in a rut, the first step is often the most important – and that is exactly what our Value Lab aims to provide. Please feel free to get in touch for a chat to find out more about how it could help you and your business.